|A.K.A.||Leroy Fletcher Prouty|
|Was||Military officer Soldier Financial professional Officer Banker|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||24 January 1917, Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, U.S.A.|
|Death||5 June 2001, McLean, Fairfax County, Virginia, U.S.A. (aged 84 years)|
Leroy Fletcher Prouty (January 24, 1917 – June 5, 2001) served as Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President John F. Kennedy. A former colonel in the United States Air Force, he retired from military service to become a bank executive. He subsequently became a critic of U.S. foreign policy, particularly the covert activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) about which he had considerable inside knowledge. Prouty was the inspiration for the character "Mr. X" in Oliver Stone's film JFK.
Prouty was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Prouty was a graduate of Massachusetts State College in 1941 with a bachelor's degree. He later graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison Graduate School of Banking in 1968.
World War II
Prouty was commissioned as a reserve 2nd lieutenant in the cavalry on June 9, 1941 and began his military career with the 4th Armored Division in Pine Camp, New York. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on February 1, 1942. He transferred to the United States Army Air Forces on November 10, 1942 and earned his pilot wings that same month. He arrived in British West Africa in February 1943 as a pilot with Air Transport Command.
In the summer of 1943 he was the personal pilot of General Omar Bradley, General John C. H. Lee and General C. R. Smith (Founder and President of American Airlines), among others. He flew the U.S. Geological Survey Team in Saudi Arabia, October 1943, to confirm oil discoveries in preparation for the Cairo Conference. He was assigned to special duties at the Cairo Conference and the Tehran Conference November–December 1943. He flew Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese delegation (T. V. Soong's delegates) to Tehran.
An important mission he was involved in was the evacuation of the British commandos made famous by the novel Guns of Navarone involved in the Battle of Leros from Leros to Palestine. He was promoted to captain on February 1, 1944. In 1945 he transferred to Southwest Pacific and flew in New Guinea, Leyte and was on Okinawa at the end of war. He landed near Tokyo at the time of their surrender with the first three planes carrying General Douglas MacArthur's bodyguard troops. He flew out with American POWs.
Between 1946–49 he was assigned by the U.S. Army to Yale University, where he also taught, to begin the first USAF ROTC program. From 1950–52 he transferred to Colorado Springs to establish Air Defense Command. From 1952–54 he was assigned to Korean War duties in Japan where he served as Military Manager for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) during the US Occupation. Prouty was assigned to coordinate operations between the USAF and the CIA in 1955. As a result of a CIA Commendation for this work he was awarded the Legion of Merit by the US Air Force, and was promoted to Colonel being assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
With the creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency by Secretary McNamara and the abolishment of the OSO, he was transferred to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to create a similar worldwide office. He was the Chief of Special Operations with the Joint Staff all during 1962–1963. He received orders to travel as the Military Escort officer for a group of VIPs who were being flown to the South Pole, November 10–28, 1963, to activate a nuclear power plant for heat, light and sea water desalination at the United States Navy Base at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.
Retiring as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force in 1964, he was awarded one of the first three Joint Service Commendation Medals by General Maxwell D. Taylor, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He was a Senior Director of Public Affairs for Amtrak during the 1970s, and a director of the National Railroad Foundation and Museum. Prouty authored books including The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World and JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy and numerous articles on railroads including the entries on Railroad Engineering and Foreign Railroad Technology for McGraw-Hill's encyclopedias.
Prouty served as a technical adviser to Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK. He was the inspiration for the mysterious "X" (played by Donald Sutherland), who assists Jim Garrison in the movie.
Colonel Prouty died on June 5, 2001 at Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. His funeral service was held the next day at the Fort Meyer Chapel. He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
As a critic of the CIA, Prouty pointed out its influence in global matters, outside the realm of U.S. congressional and government oversight. His works detail the formation and development of the CIA, the origins of the Cold War, the U-2 incident, the Vietnam War, and the John F. Kennedy assassination. Prouty has written that he believes Kennedy's assassination was a coup d'etat, and that there is a secret, global "power elite," which operates covertly to protect its interests—and in doing so has frequently subverted democracy around the world.
In the 1980s, Prouty was hired by the Church of Scientology as a consultant to investigate L. Ron Hubbard's military record. Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, had said that he had sustained combat injuries during his military service in World War II and that he healed himself through measures that would become Dianetics. However, Hubbard's military record does not show that he was wounded in combat. Church officials have stated that those records were incomplete and may have been falsified. Prouty, according to Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis, reported that Hubbard was an intelligence agent, and because of this his military discharge papers were "sheep dipped," meaning two sets of government records were created documenting Hubbard's service.
According to Prouty people within the intelligence and military communities of the United States government conspired to assassinate Kennedy. He maintained that their actions were a coup d'état to stop the President from taking control of the CIA after the Bay of Pigs. Prouty stated that the assassination was orchestrated by Edward Lansdale ("General Y" in Oliver Stone's film JFK) and that Lansdale appeared in photographs of the "three tramps."
In 1975, Prouty appeared with Richard Sprague at a news conference in New York to present what they believed was photographic evidence of a conspiracy. According to Prouty, the movement of Kennedy after a bullet struck his head was consistent with a shot from the grassy knoll. He also suggested that the actions of a man with an umbrella, the "Umbrella Man", were suspicious.
Anti-semitic organization controversy
Prouty was a featured speaker at the 1990 convention of the Liberty Lobby. Prouty was also named to the advisory board for the Lobby's Populist Action Committee. Prouty also sold the reprint rights for The Secret Team of the Noontide Press, the publishing arm for the Institute for Historical Review, a holocaust denial organization.
Prouty denied having known of the racist and antisemitic associations of the Lobby, noted that he also spoke at a ceremony at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and assured Oliver Stone "... that he was neither a racist nor an anti-Semite... but merely a writer in need of a platform." In a response to an article about Prouty in Esquire, which he labeled a "character assassination", Stone lamented Prouty's association with the Liberty Lobby but questioned its relevance to Prouty's reliability as a source. In an obituary in The Guardian, Michael Carlson wrote that "[a]lthough Prouty himself never espoused such [anti-semitic] beliefs, the connection enabled critics to dismiss his later writings."
- Command Pilot Wings
- Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
- Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
- Legion of Merit
- Joint Service Commendation Medal
- American Defense Service Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
- Army of Occupation Medal with "Japan" clasp
- Korean Service Medal
- National Defense Service Medal with star
- Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with four oak leaf clusters
- Philippine Liberation Medal
- United Nations Korea Medal